Daily Current Affairs 4 September 2021 for Banking/Insurance/SSC and other related exams.
India, US sign pact for cooperation in development of air-launched UAV
India and the US have signed an agreement for cooperation in the development of Air-Launched Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (ALUAV), in what is seen as a new step to further expand their bilateral defence and military cooperation.
- The pact falls under the ambit of the Research, Development, Testing and Evaluation (RDT&E) agreement between the two sides that was first signed in 2006 and renewed in January 2015.
- The PA outlines the collaboration between Air Force Research Laboratory, Indian Air Force, and Defence Research and Development Organisation towards design, development, demonstration, testing and evaluation of systems to co-develop an ALUAV prototype.
Manipur CM launches e-ILP platform to regulate entry and exit
Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh virtually launched the e-ILP platform for effective regulation of the Inner Line Permit (ILP) system in the state.
- The e-ILP tracking system had been developed to mend the loopholes in the procedures adopted to issue the permit and its tracking system. The system would help in checking whether a person, who had entered the state with a permit, had left or was still staying even after the expiration of the permitted duration.
- He also informed that an Inner Line Permit Monitoring Cell with DIG (Intelligence) as its chairman had been set up to ensure proper reading of entry and exit and to track over stay.
Ladakh announces black-necked crane as state bird, snow leopard as state animal
The Union Territory Government of Ladakh has announced snow leopard as its state animal and black-necked crane as state two years after it was carved out as a separate Union Territory (UT) from the erstwhile State of J&K.
- Black-necked cranes, considered loyal couples, are only found in Ladakh’s Changthang region.
- Snow leopard, whose numbers are dwindling wordwide, has been categorised as “vulnerable” in the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List.
J-K LG Sinha inaugurates ‘Saath’ initiative for women associated with SHGs
Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha launched Rural Enterprises Acceleration Programme titled ‘Saath’ for Self Help Group (SHG) women.
- This Saath initiative will stress on mentoring and market linkages of products created by these women. It is our aim to create 11000 more SHGs in the coming year.
- This will transform the lives of these women and make them independent and strong in social and financial aspects.
WCD Minister inaugurates Nutri Garden at All India Institute of Ayurveda
The Union Minister for Women and Child Development (WCD) Smriti Zubin Irani inaugurated NUTRI GARDEN to mark the beginning of Poshan Maah – 2021 at All India Institute of Ayurveda (AIIA).
- All India Institute of Ayurveda, New Delhi (AIIA) under the direction of the Ministry of Ayush initiated the celebration of Poshan Maah – 2021.
- Plantation drive and distribution of plants having health and nutritional benefits was carried out for patients and health care workers like Shatavari, Ashwagandha, Musli and Yashtimadhu.
Arunachal Pradesh govt launches two schemes for development of agriculture & horticulture
Arunachal Pradesh government has launched two ambitious schemes, one in agriculture sector called ‘AtmaNirbhar Krishi Yojna’ and the other for horticulture named ‘AtmaNirbhar Bagwani Yojna’. The schemes are part of the AtmaNirbhar program announced during the Budget session held in February this year.
- A total amount of 120 crores rupees – 60 crore rupees for each scheme – has been allocated to the two concerned departments of Agriculture and Horticulture.
- The components of the schemes will be 45% govt subsidy, 45% bank loan and only 10% will have to be borne by the farmer.He said credit link will be provided to the beneficiaries by SBI, Arunachal Pradesh Rural Bank and Arunachal Pradesh Cooperative Apex Bank.
Govt launches AYUSH AAPKE DWAR campaign from more than 45 locations across country
Ayush Ministry has launched the campaign AYUSH AAPKE DWAR from more than 45 locations across the country.
- The campaign aims to distribute medicinal plant saplings to 75 lakh households in one year. The medicinal plants include Tejpatta, Stevia, Ashoka, Giloy, Ashwagandha, Lemongrass, Tulsi, Sarpagandha and Amla.
- The National Medicinal Plants Board (NMPB) and Central Council for Research in Ayurvedic Science (CCRA), Ministry of Ayush distributed medicinal saplings and Ayurvedic medicines to the public.
BANKING & FINANCE
India’s holding of special drawing rights rises to $19.41 billion
The Reserve Bank said India’s holding of IMF’s Special Drawing Rights (SDR) has gone up to SDR 13.66 billion which is equivalent to USD 19.41 billion as per exchange rate.
- The IMF, according to RBI, made an allocation of SDR 12.57 billion (equivalent to around USD 17.86 billion at the latest exchange rate) to India on August 23.
PhonePe launches interactive geospatial site ‘Pulse’
PhonePe has launched the country’s first geospatial website ‘Pulse’ that will offer comprehensive data on digital payment trends.
- The site will reveal digital transaction habits of over 30 million Indians down to the district level. It also launched the Pulse Report, that’s an in-depth study of the evolution of digital payments over the last five years.
- The PhonePe Pulse website shows more than 2000 crore digital payments in the country on an interactive map. The payments platform has a 45 per cent market share.
- The insights of the website have been drawn from PhonePe’s transaction data as well as from merchant and customer interviews.
Federal Bank launches credit card in partnership with Visa
Federal Bank launched its credit card in association with Visa in a bid to to improve unsecured, high-yielding book and complete the suite of banking products it offers.
- The private sector bank has launched three variants of the card — Celesta (for high net worth individuals), Imperio (for family oriented customers) and Signet (targeted at young, early professionals).
- According to the product brochure, the interest per month on the uncleared credit card dues starts from 0.49 per cent. This works out to an annualised percentage rate of 5.88 per cent.
Exim Bank extends line of credit of USD 40 million to Maldives
Export-Import Bank of India [Exim Bank], on behalf of the Government of India, has extended a Line of Credit [LOC] of USD 40 million to the Government of the Republic of Maldives for the purpose of financing for development of sports infrastructure.
- With this, Exim Bank till date has extended five LOCs to Maldives, on behalf of the Indian government, taking the total value of LOCs to USD 1.33 billion.
Govt introduces rules for calculating taxable interest on PF contributions beyond specified limits
The Finance Ministry said that tax on interest pertaining to contribution towards Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) or General Provident Fund (GPF) exceeding ₹2.5 lakh will not be retrospective.
- The rules released by the Ministry prescribes calculation of taxable interest relating to contribution towards EPF or GPF with prospective effect and that the threshold for contribution to avail non-taxable interest could go to ₹5 lakh, in case of government employee.
- Accordingly, new rules will come into effect from April 1, 2022.
BUSINESS & ECONOMY
India becomes third largest startup ecosystem in the world
India has emerged as the third largest startup ecosystem in the world after the US and China and the pace of growth is not showing any signs of slowing down.
- Over the last year, India has added three unicorns every month taking the total count to 51, ahead of the UK (32) and Germany (18). A privately held startup company valued at over $1 billion is called a unicorn.
- The US tops the list with 396 unicorns, while China is at the second spot with 277, showed data from Hurun Research Institute. India’s unicorns are currently worth $168 billion, more than the GDP of Telangana at current prices.
ACQUISITIONS & MERGERS
HDFC Life acquires Exide Life Insurance in Rs 6687-crore deal
In one of the biggest deals in the insurance space, private sector life insurer HDFC Life announced it was acquiring a 100 per cent stake in Exide Industries-promoted Exide Life Insurance for Rs 6,687 crore, in a bid to enhance its proprietary channel.
- The acquisition will add about 40 per cent to HDFC Life’s agency business and 30 per cent to its agent base.
Govt appoints Atul Bhatt as CMD of Rashtriya Ispat Nigam
Atul Bhatt has been appointed as chairman and managing director (CMD) of disinvestment-owned steel company Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Ltd (RINL), according to an official notification.
- Bhatt was the CMD of state-owned consultancy firm MECON, which offers a full range of services required to set up a project from concept to commissioning including turnkey execution.
- P K Rath retired as CMD RINL on May 31, after serving the company for 38 years
HSBC appoints former SBI chairman Rajnish Kumar as independent director
The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited (HSBC) said it has appointed former State Bank of India (SBI) chairman Rajnish Kumar as an independent non-executive director and a member of Audit Committee and Risk Committee of the Asian entity.
- Kumar retired in October 2020 after a 40-year career at the SBI. His international tenure included stints at SBI’s UK and Canada operations.
Mahindra Finance appoints Raul Rebello as COO
Mahindra & Mahindra Financial Services Limited (also called MMFSL and Mahindra Finance), part of the Mahindra Group, appointed Raul Rebello as its new Chief Operating Officer (COO) with immediate effect.
- This is after the movement of Rajnish Agarwal to Mahindra Rural Housing Finance Ltd (MRHFL).
SVC Bank names Ashish Singhal as new MD & CEO
SVC Bank has appointed Ashish Singhal as its new Managing Director & CEO. His appointment came into effect from September 1.
- At his new position, he replaces Ajit E Venugopalan, who retired on August 31.
- Singhal holds more than two decades of experience in strategy, technology, sales and marketing, business intelligence and analytics, product and portfolio management, customer experience and engagement management.
Larsen & Toubro and Powergrid Wins the Prestigious global ATD Best Award
The Association for Talent Development (ATD) has honored 71 organizations from around the globe with 2021 BEST Awards. These are the only two companies from India in Top 20 of 2021 BEST Award.
- Larsen & Toubro Technology Services has been awarded with the “Association for Talent Development (ATD) 2021 BEST Award”, securing the first rank from 71 organisations globally.
- Apart from this, Power Grid Corporation of India Limited (POWERGRID), a Maharatna CPSU under Ministry of Power, Government of India has also won the 2021 BEST Award, placed at 8th position.
Mexico’s Alejandro Prieto wins Bird Photographer of the Year 2021
Mexican photographer Alejandro Prieto has emerged as the winner of the Bird Photographer of the Year (BPOTY) 2021.
- He has won for capturing a photograph of a greater roadrunner staring up at the barbed-wire-clad border wall between the USA and Mexico, with what almost looks like a sense of bewilderment. The image has been given the title as ‘Blocked’.
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Hansa New Generation trainer aircraft developed by CSIR-NAL makes maiden flight
Hansa New Generation trainer aircraft designed and developed by CSIR-NAL in Bengaluru has successfully made its maiden flight.
- The aircraft took off from HAL airport in the city and flew at an altitude of 4000 feet and gained a speed of 80 knots before making a successful landing after about 20 minutes.
- Hansa-NG aircraft developed indigenously has glass cockpit with cabin comfort, highly efficient digitally controlled engine, electrically operated flaps, long endurance, low acquisition and low operating cost.
Jacques Rogge, former IOC president, passes away
Jacques Rogge, the Olympic sailor and orthopedic surgeon from Belgium who led the International Olympic Committee as president for 12 years, has died. He was 79.
- Rogge represented Belgium in rugby and was a world champion in sailing. He competed in the Finn class at three Olympic Games from 1968 through 1976.
- He led the European group of Olympic committees before being elected as the IOC’s eighth president in 2001.